Nike Sneakers Designed for Spike Lee Sold for $50,800

Nike Sneakers, a Unique Set of Air Jordan 3 Custom Shoes and Made for the Film Director Spike Lee, Sell at Sotheby's for $50,800.

Dec 18, 2023By Angela Davic, News, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and Analysis
Nike Sneakers
Spike Lee, wearing the custom Air Jordan 3s, onstage at the 91st Annual Academy Awards Ceremony in 2019. Photo by Kevin Winter / Getty Images.


Nike sneakers designed for the film director Spike Lee sold at Sotheby’s sale for $50,800. The pair in question is a custom Air Jordan 3s. Before this, the trainers turned up in an offering box at a homeless organisation in Oregon. This pair of Jordans is one of very few pairings produced by Nike’s Tinker Hatfield.


Nike Sneakers Discovered by Shelter’s Volunteer

Shoe Details at 91st Annual Academy Awards Ceremony Red Carpet (2019). Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)


Lee wore one pair in 2019 when he received the Academy Award for BlackKkKlansman in 2019. The size 12.5 shoes have the names of Tinker Hatfield and Spike Lee inscribed on them. Also, they showcase the 1979-founded 40 Acres and A Mule Filmworks logo, which belongs to Lee. The Portland Rescue Mission-run Burnside Shelter in Oregon is where the trainers ended up in April.


Those who are homeless can get food, clothing, housing, and addiction recovery programmes from this organisation, which began operations in 1949. The Portland Rescue Mission described in a blog post how a volunteer discovered the footwear while going through donations. These donations descend via a narrow passage most of the time.


Images of hyped-up releases of the Nike Air Jordan 1 High OG Dior sneaker, via Nike website; with Reebok JJJJound Classic Nylon Shoe, via Reebok website


“Obviously they must be fakes, we thought, because why would the real thing end up in our donation bins?”, said Erin Holcomb, the director of the program. Holcomb also clarified that in order to determine the sneakers’ validity, they brought them to a “high end sneaker resale shop”. The owner “offered to buy them from me on the spot for $10,000 or to consign them in his store for a potentially larger return”.

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Shoes Sold for Double Its Estimate

Shoe timeline including a pair of 1925 heeled women’s sneakers; a 1957 Chuck Taylor All Star (Converse) sneaker; a 1985 Air Jordan 1 high top sneaker; and a 2017 Balenciaga Triple S Mesh & Leather  men’s sneaker


After conducting additional investigation, Holcomb discovered that a different pair sold for $47,880 at an auction held by Sotheby’s in 2021. She worked with the auction house to arrange for them to be among the involved of the Sotheby’s sale on December 18. The sale showed “some of the most sought-after collectibles and sneakers in existence”. Portland Rescue Mission contacted Hatfield and consented to autograph the footwear.


Also, he gave a concept design-framed box for the shoes. After a few last-minute bids, the pair, went to auction and sold for $50,800. It also had a previous estimate of between $15,000 and $20,000. To ensure that the Portland Rescue Mission receives all proceeds raised, Sotheby’s waived their commission.


Air Jordan 3 Retro “Spike Lee Oscars” with Tinker Hatfield signed box and concept design. Photo courtesy of Sotheby’s.


As a nod to Michael Jordan and Spike Lee’s connection, Nike had earlier introduced the Jordan Spiz’ike shoe line, which Sotheby’s described as Spike Lee’s “ongoing love affair of all things Nike and Jordan Brand.” Lee played the part of Mars Blackmon from his 1986 movie She’s Gotta Have It in Nike Air Jordan commercials that aired in 1990.















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By Angela DavicNews, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and AnalysisAngela is a journalism student at the Faculty of Political Science in Belgrade and received a scholarship for continued education in Prague. She completed her internship at the daily newspaper DANAS and worked as an executive editor at Talas.